The Interfaith Center staff is made up of two professional full-time staff members, and three student workers. The staff works as a team to create, plan, and implement programming and events around the Interfaith Center's Mission, Vision and Values.
Tarah Trueblood directs the Interfaith Center's overall mission to engage the UNF campus around religious pluralism and provide distinctive programs for students to voice values, engage with others, act together, and lead others to do likewise. She has responsibility over strategic planning, staff recruitment and management, student program development and assessment, budgeting, fundraising, community outreach, and day-to-day operations of the center.
Prior to her position at UNF, Trueblood served as the Executive Director of Wesley Foundation at the University of California, Berkeley where she led the development, financing, entitlement, construction and initial lease-up of a four-story student residential housing community and community center known as Wesley House Berkeley. She also collaborated with the Dean of Students and other University and community leaders to form the University’s first interfaith coalition and first student interfaith leadership development program.
Trueblood was an ordained Elder with the United Methodist Church and served as the lead pastor and multi-cultural community life director of three California congregations. She helped guide these congregations to become mission-driven and community service oriented. Trueblood was admitted to the California State Bar Association and practiced corporate finance, and securities law in Sacramento, California serving several terms as President of the Sacramento County Bar Association's Business Law Section.
Education and Scholarship
Juris Doctor: University of Nebraska, College of Law (Lincoln, NE)
Master of Divinity: Graduate Theological Union (GTU) (Berkeley, CA)
Master of Arts: GTU (Thesis: Experiential Learning to Drive Sustainable Social Change)
Community Scholar: University of North Florida, Center for Community Based Learning
Rachael McNeal, a native of Columbus, Ohio (GO BUCKS!), is a recent graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary where she received her Master of Divinity. Rachael is also a graduate of Flagler College where she studies Religion/Philosophy and Youth Ministry. Rachael is an alum of the Interfaith Youth Core after completing a seminary course on Youth and interfaith Leadership with Eboo Patel, Cassie Meyer and Kenda Dean. She has written for the Interfaith Youth Core's blog (www.ifyc.org/stay-informed) and is on IFYC's alumni speakers bureau. Rachael taught Hebrew Bible/Old Testament in the Fall of 2012 at Flagler College. Rachael has been passionate about building peace between people of different religious and non-religious identities since her time as an undergraduate. In January of 2012 she participated in an Interfaith Trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories where she participated in Interfaith Dialogue. The trip inspired the article she co-wrote with Rori Picker Neiss entitled "Jesus, Judaism, and Seeing the Other" which appeared in the Hannukah Issue of the Jewish Post (http://www.jewishpost.com/news/jesus-judaism-and-seeing-the-other.html). She is particularly inspired by the theology of Jacques Dupuis, Thomas Merton and Amos Yong and their understandings about the importance of interreligious dialogue. Rachael joined the Interfaith Center staff in September of 2012. She lives in St. Augustine, FL with her husband, Kevin, and dog, Chief Clancy Wiggum.
Student Worker/President of Better Together @ UNF: Hana Ashchi
My name is Hana Ashchi and a junior here at UNF. I am a Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations. My religious affiliation is of the Baha'i Faith. I decided to become a student assistant for the Interfaith Center because I believe it is important to take in consideration of other people's beliefs in order that we all work together for a common good. It is also important to include ideas from a student to get a basic generalization of what other students could possibly be interested in as well. I enjoy working at the Interfaith Center because I get the opportunity to meet new people, work events that are enjoyable as well as educational and improve my skills that will help me after I graduate from college. Working for the Interfaith center has given me the opportunity to figure out who I am along with helping others learn and progress with figuring out their beliefs and ideals.
Scott VanSchoor is a student employee in his second semester working with the UNF Interfaith Center. He is currently a senior studying Fine Art Photography in the University's Art Department and contributes photographs of interfaith events for use in our website, publications, and our Facebook page. Originally from New York, he came to Florida in 2002 where he finished high school at Bartram Trail High School in St. Johns County, Florida. From there he studied Environmental Science at Florida Atlantic University and Santa Fe College before working as a wetland researcher. His passion for the natural world carries through in his photographic work and his spiritual philosophy. He is not currently affiliated with any particular religion, but has a background in Catholicism and Protestant Christianity. He believes people can be nonaffiliated but still have faith in a higher power.
Becca Morrow is a sophomore from Orlando, Florida working her first semester with the Interfaith Center. She came to UNF attracted by the small size and intimate academic environment. It is her mission with the Interfaith Center to build a tighter community in which fear is eliminated between religions (and the non religious!) to aid in creating a brighter future in which all people can exist equally to solve major global issues. She identifies as a non religious "being" who practices eco-mysticism stemming from an admiration of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Robert Frost.
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